“A general spirit of discontent has long been increasing among the people: it has at last broken out among the lower class in London.”
Joseph Ritson stated that the poem was “a dull performance and scarcely merits the care of a modern impression.”
Robin Hood has always been an awkward socialist figure, but according to William Morris (1834-1896), he prepared the way for the radical preacher, John Ball (d.1381).
In 1865 the penny dreadul “Little John and Will Scarlet” appeared, full of ideas of democracy and egalitarianism.
Paper Presented to the Women’s History Network Conference, Leeds Trinity University, 16-17 September 2016.
Abstract: The earliest ballads of Robin Hood such as A Gest of Robyn Hode (c.1450) and Robin Hood and the Potter (c.1450) give no clue as to the manner of Robin Hood’s birth. This was still the case when Joseph Ritson published his influential ballad anthology entitled Robin Hood: A Collection of All the Ancient Poems, Songs, and Ballads (1795). Five years after Ritson, however, Robert Jamieson published Popular Ballads and Songs, from Tradition, Manuscripts, and Scarce Editions (1806). In that collection two new never-before-seen Robin Hood ballads appeared entitled The Birth of Robin Hood and The Wedding of Robin Hood and Little John. Jamieson had transcribed the ballads from Anna Gordon Brown of Falkland, Scotland. Although twentieth-century Robin Hood critics have derided Mrs. Brown’s ballads as being of little merit compared to earlier material, Mrs. Brown enjoyed a ‘literary afterlife’ in the tradition as Goody – the old woman who recites Robin Hood stories to dinner guests – in the first ever Robin Hood novel entitled Robin Hood: A Tale of the Olden Time (1819). The proposed paper, therefore, is intended to fit into the panel ‘Women Collectors and Collected Women’.
In Thomas Miller’s novel ‘Royston Gower’ (1838), Robin Hood is portrayed as a medieval Chartist activist.
Walter Scott’s novel “Ivanhoe” (1819) is perhaps the best Robin Hood story ever written.
An atheist, monarchy-hating, Robin Hood scholar.
Examining how Scott’s fictional interpretation of the Middle Ages, in particular the notion that Robin Hood was a Saxon yeoman, influenced historical scholarship in the early-to-mid nineteenth century.
In the 16th century there was an understanding among some thinkers that Christ may have died on a simple wooden stake or tree, rather than a two beam cross, and similarly the Geste of Robyn Hode makes reference to “Cryst that dyed on a tree”.